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Josef Korbel School of International Studies, Frederick S. Pardee Center for International Futures


Forecasts, Integrated assessment models, Shared socioeconomic pathways, Conflict, Poverty, Sustainable development goals


Intrastate conflict generally undermines human development but its effect on global poverty across different income thresholds remains poorly understood. This paper analyzes how many people will live in poverty due to intrastate civil conflict in 2030, 2050, and 2070 using the International Futures model and shared socioeconomic pathways, forecasting 12 scenarios for 179 countries. A baseline conflict scenario leads to an additional 148.2 million (range: 50.7 to 186.0 million) people living in extreme poverty (<$1.90 per day) due to conflict by 2030 compared with a scenario where conflict is eliminated starting in 2022. These conflict-attributable poor represent 20.1% of the population in extreme poverty at that time, with the majority living in South Asia followed by Africa. By 2050 the population living in conflict-attributable poverty increases to 164.9 million (range: 4.4 to 376.5 million), representing 32.7% of the total extremely poor population at that time with the majority living in Africa. While future conflict will be responsible for hundreds of millions of people living in poverty, its elimination is not a panacea for achieving development targets: even in a scenario with no intrastate conflict from 2022 to 2030 the population living in extreme poverty is projected to be 6.9%, well above the target threshold of 3% for achieving the first Sustainable Development Goal.

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License.

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This article was originally published as:

Moyer, J. D. (2023). Blessed are the peacemakers: The future burden of intrastate conflict on poverty. World Development, 165, 106188.